It’s a turbulent time for businesses, which has resulted in a shift in the role that L&D plays within an organisation. No longer a nice-to-have, a strong learning programme is a must have, as businesses look to fight off the great resignation and adapt to the new normal of hybrid working.
With that in mind, here are 10 of the biggest trends in eLearning for 2022 and beyond:
- Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence or machine learning are not new concepts when it comes to eLearning, but becoming increasingly important as organisations look to work smarter, not harder.
According to 2019’s Gartner CIO Survey, 37% of businesses had implemented a form of AI, which was a massive increase of 270% in the last four years.
AI within eLearning can help to relieve the pressure from L&D professionals, by automating certain admin tasks and reports, as well as helping to personalise the learning experience.
And at a time when people are perpetually busy, having more time to focus on other things can often feel like gold dust.
Learning management system, Docebo, for example, utilises AI throughout its software. This includes a virtual learning assistant, AI-powered search functions, auto-tagging and enrolment recommendations.
Over time, AI is only going to get smarter and therefore make life easier for L&D professionals, giving them more time to focus on other areas, such as content creation and user engagement.
2. Tackling ‘The Great Resignation’
It’s likely that everyone has heard the phrase ‘The Great Resignation’… or its spinoff phrases, ‘The Great Reshuffle’ and ‘Great Reset’. We even came up with one of our own: ‘The Great Expectation’.
Whatever you call it, employees seeking out new opportunities en-masse after the pandemic has affected businesses across the world. Employee surveys regularly reveal that what people value most is flexibility, benefits, and you guessed it, personal progression and development.
This makes learning and development a must-have for any business. But not just learning that ticks a box.
Thoughtful, engaging and relevant learning experiences that help people to grow.
A report from TalentLMS found that while 75% of workers said they were content with the L&D in their organisation, 55% say they need additional training to perform better in their roles and one-in-two employees is pursuing learning opportunities on their own, outside of work training.
As Fosway Group’s director, David Perring said, “If you want to be leading the world, you have to be learning.”
With employees expecting more than ever from their employers, offering opportunities to upskill and develop has never been more important. It could even be the difference between someone staying in a role or moving on.
3. L&D as a key strategic function
In a recent LinkedIn survey, 72% of global learning and development professionals said that L&D was now a strategic function of their business.
This suggests a fundamental change in the way that employers are approaching learning. Not only are businesses driving a learning agenda, but they are putting more pressure on these programmes to deliver tangible business results.
They may also have to weigh tactically how to approach when and who to upskill. On one hand, learning can take people away from their day jobs, on the other, upskilling can be a key lever to be pulled to drive better performance.
As data and analytics become closely intertwined with eLearning, we’re likely to see this trend continuing to grow, with businesses using learning to drive better performance.
4. Learning in the flow of work
As we speculated in a recent blog, learning in the flow of work could well be the future of workplace learning.
People often feel like they don’t have time for learning, especially if it takes them away from their desks and distracts them from their day jobs.
Learning in the flow of work aims to help users learn on the job, reducing the impact on productivity and reducing frustration when it comes to learning new tools and software.
By using a tool like a digital adoption solution, learners have the technology at their fingertips to learn new software on the go. This is a stark contrast to having to leave an application to take a course on an LMS or take a day out of work to go to an in-person or virtual learning course.
While learning in the flow of work won’t fit in all situations, it’s certainly a concept that we expect to hear more of in the coming years.
5. Balancing virtual and physical learning
During the pandemic, in-person learning was practically non-existent. And this was for good reason.
However, we’ve now seen some training returning to the classroom, including our very own training session held at the National Space Centre in Leicester.
This leaves businesses with a challenge when it comes to delivering training that suits all their employees. Some may be office-based, some may work from home and others might work from another country.
24% of all workers have adopted hybrid working in the post-pandemic world. With virtual learning, it needs to be easily accessible and delivered in the right format. Boring and repetitive learning experiences could lead to cognitive overload and learners not being truly invested in your learning programmes.
And if learning is delivered in person, it needs to be at a time and place that everyone is able to attend.
It’s going to be a key challenge for businesses to find the right balance in how they deliver their training experiences going forward.
6. The importance of analytics
Data is king for so business functions, and L&D is no different.
But we’re not talking completion rates. We’re talking about in-depth, reportable data that can be used to analyse and improve learning experiences.
Understanding learner behaviour and happiness can then help to improve future course content to make sure that those that take it are left fully satisfied.
Docebo is one such tool, with its Learning Impact app that allows businesses to track and report on the impact of their learning courses. This makes it much easier to feed back to the business on the outcome and impact of your programmes.
If businesses are treating L&D as a strategic function, as we mentioned earlier on, it’s data and analytics that are going to empower this movement.
7. Above and beyond learning experiences
Most businesses aspire for their learning programmes to be engaging for learners, but time and budget can often be blockers to this dream.
It can often be easier to invest in generic templates than bespoke content, but cutting corners and making compromises can be risky business.
In the age of TikTok and Instagram Reels, attention spans are dropping and eLearning has to work harder to retain the attention of learners.
Working with a bespoke eLearning content team and investing in creative authoring tools such as Articulate and Vyond are a good first step. By investing in innovation, businesses can create the content they need to keep the attention of their mobile-first employees.
This could be through creative video content, VR, or gamification, all of which can increase engagement rates.
It’s also worth considering what is the most effective way to deliver a piece of learning.
It might be an in-person group session. It might be a 20-second video. It might be a three-day online experience. It might be a digital adoption solution.
As covered in a recent case study, the team at global retailer Stella McCartney opted to deliver training that was previously done in-person, virtually. This led to huge cost savings, as well as more consistent learning for their staff across the world.
In these uncertain times for businesses, there’s no doubt that this puts more pressure on L&D to deliver and adapt.
Not only have L&D teams had to react to changes in worker habits, but also the added pressure coming from business leaders on learning to deliver change and performance boosts.
This makes it even more vital that learning teams have the tools and processes in place to meet these expectations. Whether it’s easily accessible data, automation of time-consuming tasks or the tools to deliver excellent learning experiences, meeting the needs of both employees and business leaders has never been more difficult.
Looking to improve your eLearning experiences? Talk to our team today to discuss the software, content and training you need to transform your learning experiences.
More from Omniplex Learning